Wildflowers of the Rockies, Part 1

Traveling to new places doesn’t really change the things I’m obsessed with – birds, butterflies, herps, wildflowers. While in Rocky Mountain National Park I took every opportunity I could to photograph the wildflowers we came across, and even bought a booklet in a gift store to help identify them. (Because I know people are going to find this by Googling variations of “Rocky Mountain wildflowers,” let me very clear that this is not a comprehensive guide, just a small sample of what we found blooming in late June!)

Wild Iris (Blue Flag), Iris missouriensis
Western Wallflower, Erysimum capitatum
Skullcap, Scutellaria brittonii
Penstemon sp.
Narrowleaf Paintbrush, Castilleja linariifolia
Lanceleaf Chiming Bells, Mertensia lanceolata
Golden Banner, Thermopsis divaricarpa

These photos were all taken in the montane area of the park, that is, the lowest elevation zone. As you ascend into the mountains, you leave the montane zone behind, pass through the subalpine zone, and eventually enter the alpine zone where the tundra is. As the title of this post suggests, expect a second, higher-elevation collection of wildflower photos to come!

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